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Understanding Market

Before we understand the meaning of marketing, we should know what a market is. Market is a
place where buyers and sellers meet each other to enter into transactions. The transactions
involve transactions of ideas, goods, services and information. The exchange of goods or
services for money is a transaction.

Market comprises not only the actual buyers but also the potential buyers of a product or service.
The potential buyers are those people who profess some level of interest in a good / service/
information and who can afford it. For example, a mill produces a cotton cloth. The mill
(manufacturer & seller) and all the potential and actual buyers of the cloths will constitute the
market.

The presence of sellers and actual & potential buyers of a products or services over the Internet
is known as "Online market" or "web market".

In a broadest sense: A market is any one of a variety of different systems, institutions,


procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby person’s trade, and goods and services
are exchanged, forming part of the economy. It is an arrangement that allows buyers and sellers
to exchange things"

Can Two Persons make a Market?


Two persons can trade. However to create a market it takes at least three persons to have a
market, so that there is competition on at least one of its two sides.

The offerings may include physical products, Services, Ideas and information. These offerings
have values for their customers.

"Exchange" is central to marketing. Exchange in which two or more parties give something of
value to each other to satisfy felt needs is the core of the market place. Exchanges may include
tangible goods for money or also intangible services.

Features of Markets:

As mentioned above, two people can trade but cannot create a market. In markets, the
buyers outnumber sellers.

An individual buyer is weaker than any individual seller is economically, but the total
economic power of even a fraction of the buyers is enough to assure the survival or death of most
businesses.

The sellers compete to sway the largest number of buyers they can to their, rather than
another seller’s (competitor’s) offerings and attempt to meet competition and attract the largest
number of buyers, are influenced as well, regularly modifying their behaviors so they will have
more success, with more buyers, over time.

Definition of Marketing

After understanding the Market in the last chapter, now let us understand what the marketing is.
In market, the sellers and buyers exchange ideas, goods, services and information for money.
The ideas, goods, services and information possess a value for the customer. Every organization
or firm has to create a value for its product or service and this is very much essential for its
survival.

The economists call this value “utility”. Utility is the want-satisfying power of a good or service.
The utility is of four kinds- form utility, time utility, place utility and ownership utility.
Form utility is created when the firm converts raw materials and component inputs into finished
goods and services. Any firm’s production function is responsible for creating form utility and
marketing provides important inputs that specify consumer preference. Marketing creates the
other three utilities, time utility, place utility and ownership utility. Time and place utility occur
when consumers find goods and services available when and where they want to purchase them.
EBay and other online retailers have a 24X7 format. This format emphasizes the time utility. Cola
vending machines at malls and complexes focus on providing place utility for people buying
snacks and soft drinks. Similarly, dial a pizza creates place utility. ATMs in banks also create the
place utility. The transfer of title to goods or services at the time of purchase creates ownership
utility.

Utility is created by marketing. The firms determine what products or services may be of interest
to customers. In simple words, the strategy to use in sales, communications and business
development is called marketing. Marketing is an integrated process through which a firm creates
value for customers and builds strong customer relationships in order to capture value from
customers in return.

Just like transaction is central to a market, customer is central to marketing. Marketing involves
identifying, retaining and satisfying the customer.

Marketing is not an isolated process. it is an integrated process which involves the planning,
execution, pricing, distribution, promotion and after sales service. The American Marketing
Association as has defined the marketing as:

"Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and
distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and
organizational objectives"

The latest definition of Marketing by AMA in October 2007 was revised as:

"Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating,
delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society
at large."

The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as "the management process responsible
for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably"

Difference between Selling and Marketing


The market is a place for economic transactions. The buying and selling are two sides of the
same "coin" that is "transaction'. Selling is different from marketing. While selling means offering
to exchange something (intangible or tangible) of value for something else, marketing means
much more. Selling is a part or component of marketing. Marketing may start even before
production of goods and services. Marketing involves analyzing consumer needs, securing
information needed to design and produce goods or services that match buyer expectations,
creating, and maintaining relationships with customers and suppliers.

The selling starts from the factory in case of tangible goods, while marketing starts in the market
place. The focus of selling is "product or service" which exists, while the focus of marketing is
"customer needs". The means of selling is a sale and to conclude a sale depends upon the
"Persuading art" of the sales person, means of marketing is a complex, integrated and
interdependent factors.

The ultimate end of selling is profit while the ultimate end of the marketing is "Customer
satisfaction".
A common person, due to continuous exposure to advertising and personal selling links
marketing and selling. There are some misconceptions or myths regarding the selling and
marketing, biggest of which is "Marketing and selling are synonymous". The other myths are:
1. Marketing job is to create good advertising campaign
2. Marketing means to push the product to customer.
3. Marketing is transaction oriented.
4. Marketing is short term strategy
5. Marketing is an independent function.
6. Marketing is part of selling.

Both marketing and selling promote a product or service but marketing involves selling,
promoting, educating and exciting people about a product or service. Marketing builds a brand.

Who is a customer?
A customer, also known as a client is a current or potential buyer of a product -good or service.
The firm or organization is seller. A potential customer is also known as prospective customer or
client. A customer may view, check, experience the service but not purchase.

The word "customer" has derived from custom, which means a habit (of going to frequently to a
shop). In today's cutthroat competition, "the Customer is a King". Marketing professionals
ironically say “Customer is always right".

The biggest challenge is for an organization is - how to create a customer?


Creating a customer means identifying needs in the marketplace, finding out which needs the
organization can profitably serve and developing an offering to convert potential buyers into
customers. (Guiltinan and Paul)
The marketing professionals are mostly responsible to create customers. The activities, which are
necessary to create customers, are as follows:

To identify the customer needs.

To design the goods and services that meet those identified needs

To communicate the information about those goods and services to prospective buyers

To make goods and services available at times and places that meet customers’ needs

To price goods and services to reflect costs, competition and customers’ ability to buy

To provide necessary service and follow-up to ensure customer satisfaction after the
purchase

Evolution of Marketing
Marketing has changed over the centuries, decades and years. The production centered system
systematically changed into relationship era of today and over the period; the specializations
have emerged such as sales versus marketing and advertising versus retailing. The overall
evolution of marketing has given rise to the concept of business development. Marketing has
taken the modern shape after going through various stages since last the end of 19th century.
The Production oriented practice of marketing prior to the twentieth century was conservative and
hidebound by rules-of-thumb and lack of information. Science & technology developments and
specially the development of information technology have now changed the way people live, the
way people do business and the way people sell and purchase. Following is a short summary of
the various stages of evolution of marketing.
Production Orientation Era: The prevailing attitude and approach of the production orientation
era was -"consumers favor products that are available and highly affordable" . The mantra for
marketing success was to “Improve production and distribution". The rule was "availability and
affordability is what the customer wants". The era was marked by narrow product-lines; pricing
system based on the costs of production and distribution, limited research, primary aim of the
packaging was to protect the product, minimum promotion. Advertising meant, "Promoting
products with a lesser quality".

Product Orientation Era: The attitude changed slowly and approach shifted from production to
product and from the quantity to quality. The prevailing attitude of this period was that consumers
favor products that offer the most quality, performance and innovative features and the mantra for
marketers was ‘A good product will sell itself’, so does not need promotion.

Sales Orientation Era: The increased competition and variety of choices / options available to
customers changed the marketing approach and now the attitude was "Consumers will buy
products only if the company promotes/ sells these products". This era indicates rise of
advertising and the mantra for marketers was “Creative advertising and selling will overcome
consumers’ resistance and convince them to buy".

Marketing Orientation Era: The shift from production to product and from product to
customers later manifested in the Marketing Era which focused on the "needs and wants of the
customers” and the mantra of marketers was " ‘The consumer is king! Find a need and fill it’. The
approach is shifted to delivering satisfaction better than competitors are.

Relationship Marketing Orientation Era: This is the modern approach of marketing. Today's
marketer focuses on needs/ wants of target markets and aims at delivering superior value. The
mantra of a successful marketer is ‘Long-term relationships with customers and other partners
lead to successes

The following sentences summarize the above evolution of marketing.


1. Production era: ‘Cut costs. Profits will take care of themselves’
2. Product era: ‘A good product will sell itself’
3. Sales era: ‘Selling is laying the bait for the customer’
4. Marketing era: ‘The customer is King!’
5. Relationship marketing era: ‘Relationship with customers determine our firm’s future’

Features of Marketing
The marketing Management refers to planning, organizing, directing, control of the activates
which facilitate the exchange of goods and services between the producers to end consumers.
Firms today need to spend money to create time, place and ownership utilities .The main features
of modern marketing are as follows:

1. Marketing is a science as well as art: Marketing has evolved from the economics but it
has a closer relationships with social and behavioral sciences. Marketing is closely associated
with streams of science as well humanities and subject lines such as Economics, Law,
Psychology, Anthropology, Sociology, Information Technology etc. Marketing heavily depends
upon the demographic features of the target market, political environment, philosophy,
mathematics, statistics etc.
2. Exchange is essence of marketing: Marketing revolves around commercial exchange.
This also involves exchange of technology, exchange of information and exchange of ideas.
3. Marketing is Goal Oriented: The ultimate goal of marketing is to generate profits through
the satisfaction of the customer.
4. Marketing is a continuous process: marketing is not an isolated, static process but is a
complex, continuous and interrelated process. It involves continuous planning, implementation
and control. It is an important functional area of the management.
5. Marketing is Consumer Oriented: All firms exist because of their business to satisfy the
human needs, wants and demands. The ultimate objective of marketing is to find out what the
consumer wants and how to fulfill consumer need. This leads to production of the goods and
services as per the needs of the customer.
6. Marketing starts with consumer and ends with consumer: Marketing is consumer oriented
and it is very important to know what the consumer wants.

Functions of Marketing
The ultimate aim of marketing is exchange of goods and services from producers to consumers in
a way that maximizes the satisfaction of customer’s needs. Marketing functions start from
identifying the consumer needs and end with satisfying the consumer needs. The universal
functions of marketing involve buying, selling, transporting, storing, standardizing and grading,
financing, risk taking and securing marketing information. However, modern marketing has some
other functions such as gathering the market info and analyzing that info. Market planning and
strategy formation. To assist in product designing and development also comes under the
marketing functions. The marketing functions have been discussed here briefly:

1. Market Information: To identify the needs, wants and demands of the consumers and then
analyzing the identified information to arrive at various decisions for the successful marketing of a
firm’s products and services is one of the most important functions of marketing. The analysis
involves judging the internal weaknesses and strengths of the organization as well politico-legal,
social and demographic data of the target market. This information is further used in market
segmentations.
2. Market Planning: Market-planning aims at achieving a firm’s marketing objectives. These
objectives may involve increasing market presence, dominate the market or increase market
share. The market planning function covers aspects of production levels, promotions and other
action programmes.
3. Exchange Functions: The buying and selling are the exchange functions of marketing.
They ensure that a firm's offerings are available in sufficient quantities to meet customer
demands. The exchange functions are supported by advertising, personal selling and sales
promotions.
4. Product Designing and development: The product design helps in making the prodyct
attractive to the target market. In today’s competitive market environment not only cost matters
but also the product design, suitability, shape, style etc. matter a lot in taking production
decisions.
5. Physical Distribution: The physical distribution functions of marketing involve transporting
and storing. The transporting function involve moving products from their points of production to
locations convenient for purchasers and storing function involve the warehousing products until
needed for sale.
6. Standardization and Grading: Standardization involves producing goods at predetermined
specifications. Standardization ensures that product offerings meet established quality and
quantity. It helps in achieving uniformity and consistency in the output product. Grading is
classification of goods in various groups based upon certain predetermined characteristics. It
involves the control standards of size, weight etc. Grading helps in pricing decisions also. The
higher quality goods and services attract higher prices.
7. Financing : The financing functions of marketing involve providing credit for channel
members or consumers.
8. Risk Taking: Risk taking is one of the important marketing functions. Risk taking in
marketing refers to uncertainty about consumer purchases resulting from creation and marketing
of goods and services that consumers may purchase in future.
9. Packaging, labeling and branding: packaging involves designing package for the
products, labeling means putting information required / specified on a product’s covering.
Packaging and labeling serve as promotional tools now a days, Branding distinguishes the
generic commodity name to a brand name. For example, Wheat Flour is a generic name of a
commodity while “Ashirvad Aata” is a brand name. In service industry, also branding matters a
lot.
10. Customer Support: Customer support is a very important function of marketing. It
involves pre sales counseling, after sales service, handling the customer complaints and
adjustments, credit services, maintenance services, technical services and consumer information.
For example, water purifier comes with an onsite service warranty of 7 years helps in marketing
and is an important marketing function as well.

Importance of Marketing
Whether a firm is a profit making organization or a nonprofit making organization, marketing has
to play a very important role in the firm’s business, society and country. While raising the
standard of living by designing products suitable to needs and wants of the customers, marketing
also helps in development of the national economy. Producing goods and services for the society
according to the needs and create demand for them and thus improving the standard of living of
the people is one of the most important role played by marketing. For a firm, marketing helps in
reducing the cost of business by reducing market distribution cost. Marketing also helps in
increase in the employment opportunities. The successful marketing channel involves services of
wholesalers, retailers, transporters; storage functionaries finance professionals, insurance
services and so on. By creating, maintaining and increasing the demand marketing indirectly
adds to the national income. Marketing also helps to build a cushion against slack business and
recession.

Meaning & Functions of Marketing Management


Management is the processes of planning, organizing directing motivating and coordinating and
controlling of various activities of a firm. Marketing is the process of satisfying the needs and
wants of the consumers. Management of marketing activities is Marketing Management.
Management Guru Philip Kotler defines marketing as “Marketing Management is the analysis,
planning, implementation anc control of programmes designed to bring about the desired
exchanges with target audiences for the purpose of personal and mutual gain. It relies heavily on
adoption and coordination of the product, price, promotion and place for achieving response”:
In other words, a business discipline, which is focused on the practical application of marketing
techniques and the management of a firm’s marketing resources and activities, is Marketing
Management.
Marketing Management focuses upon the psychological and physical factors of Marketing. The
Marketing managers are responsible for influencing the level, timing, and composition of
customer demand accepted definition of the term. While the psychological factors focus upon
discovering the needs and wants of the consumer and the changing patterns of buying behavior,
habit etc. the physical factors focus upon fulfilling those needs and demands buy better product
design, channel of distribution and other functions.
In summary, Marketing in action is marketing Management.
Marketing Management has the responsibility of to perform many functions in the field of
marketing such as planning, organizing, directing, motivating, coordinating and controlling. All
these function aim to achiven the marketing goals.
Following is a brief summary of functions of Marketing

1.
Marketing Objectives: marketing management determines the marketing objectives. The
marketing objectives may be short term or long term and need a clear approach. They have to be
in coherence with the aims and objectives of the organization.
2.
Planning: After objectively determining the marketing Objectives, the important function of the
marketing Management is to plan how to achieve those objectives. This includes sales forecast,
marketing programmes formulation, marketing strategies.
3.
Organization: A plan once formulated needs implementation. Organizing functions of
marketing management involves the collection and coordination of required means to implement
a plan and to achieved pre determined objectives. The organization involves structure of
marketing organization, duties, responsibilities and powers of various members of the marketing
organization.
4.
Coordination: Coordination refers to harmonious adjustment of the activities of the marketing
organization. It involves coordination among various activities such as sales forecasting, product
planning, product development, transportation, warehousing etc.
5.
Direction: Direction in marketing management refers to development of new markets,
leadership of employees, motivation, inspiration, guiding and supervision of the employees.
6.
Control: Control refers to the effectiveness with which a marketing plan is implemented. It
involves the determination of standards, evaluation of actual performance, adoption of corrective
measures,
7.
Staffing: Employment of right and able employees is very crucial to success of a market plan.
The market manager coordinates with the Human Resource Manager of an organization to be
able to hire the staff with desired capability.
8.
Analysis and Evaluation: The marketing management involves the analysis and evaluation of
the productivity and performs mace of individual employees.

Basic Marketing Concepts


Here is a brief Description of the fundamental marketing concepts:

1.
Needs, wants and demands: A need is a state of felt deprivation or feeling of being deprived
of something. Human need is the most basic concept underlying the marketing. Need is a part of
human nature. There are many kinds of needs such as physical needs, social needs, spiritual
needs, etc. Needs are shaped up by culture, personality and religion and they become wants
when the need indicate an object to fulfill that need. Wants depend upon the internal as well as
external factors. Want is defined in terms of an object that will define the need. If thirst is need,
water, a cola drink, or a fruit juice may be the want. If hunger is need, pizza, burger, bread, or
chapatti is a want. There may be more than one object that may fulfill a need and this is called a
want-list. People have choices to choose a desired object or service from the want-list to fulfill a
particular need. However due to limited resources, people want best value of their money. When
a want is backed by buying power, it becomes a demand. So if no buying power, no demand.
Money is required to create as well as fulfill a demand. This is the most fundamental concept of
marketing. The marketer has to know the potential want list of his target market and make them
available the best value for their money.
2.
Product: Anything tangible or intangible that is offered to satisfy a need or want is a product.
They are called goods (tangible) and services (intangible). The tangible products are physical
products, which can be touched or felt or tested, while the intangible products cane only be
experienced. For example, a service of a hotel can be experienced (intangible) while food in the
restaurant in the same hotel can be tested (tangible). Cars, groceries, computers, places,
persons , ideas and informations -everything are objects that have the capability of fulfilling the
needs and wants. When products are offered in the markets they are called market offering. A
good market offering has to have a good value for money.
3.
Value & Satisfaction: The potential want list may have many products, which may fulfill the
need and want of a customer. However, a customer chooses what gives him or her best value for
money. There are market offerings for the objects in their potential want list. The market offerings
have to provide the best value of the money and satisfaction of fulfilling a want. This is the
fundamental concept of marketing, that when there are so many offerings in the market, the
customer buys a product on his / her perception. Based upon their own perception the customers
estimate the product value and judge whether, it has the capacity of fulfilling their need.
Customer value is a guiding principle. The customer may rank the products as per his / her
estimate of a products’ capability to satisfy a need. The price attached to the product may also
affect this ranking. Ultimately, the customer chooses a product, which gives him / her best value
of his / her money.

4.
Exchange, Transactions and Relationships: As mentioned above, the wants backed by buying
power create demand. The demand is fulfilled through exchange. Exchange is the act of
obtaining a desired object from someone by offering something in return. Barter is also an
exchange. One person cannot make exchange happen. To make exchange happen, two people
are required at least. However, the transaction between two people can be a trade. Two people
cannot create a market. Three people are at least required to create a market, so that there is
competition from at least one side. For exchange to take place, two people are needed. Both of
them must have something to offer each other and both of them should have a value to offer each
other. Each of them must be free to accept or reject the offer. Both of them must be able to
communicate with each other and must be able to deliver what they offering to each other. These
are some basic conditions to make exchange happen.
Exchange cannot be forced. Both the people must be independent and able to accept or
reject one another’s offer. Exchange may be for profit or also for no profit. Whether for profit or no
profit , an exchange must give some value to the exchange partners. A successful exchange is a
transaction. The transaction is the unit of measurement in marketing. The value associated with
transactions is the trade values. A monetary transaction involves money for goods / services and
a barter transaction involves good/ service for good / service.
A marketer does not want a single transaction. His aim is to continuously make market
offerings and the continuous exchanges / transactions create relationships. Today’s marketing is
relationship marketing. The focus of marketing is not to get maximum profit from a single
transaction but to get long running relationship with the customers. If there are good relationships,
the transactions will follow and run long term.
5.
Markets: As we have discussed, an exchange may take place between two people, but three
people are required to create a market. There are always many potential buyers and many
potential sellers and the set of these potential buyers and sellers is market. A market essentially
needs competition (except in absolute monopoly). A market may be a physical market with few
shops to a large complexes and shopping malls. A market also may be virtual and today virtual
markets are no inferior to the physical markets, thanks to greater access to information
technology.

The predetermined objectives of marketing are to maximize the profits and maximize the share in
the market. To achieve these objects, a well-formulated marketing plan is needed. Marketing plan
involves the important decisions and route map to achieve enterprise goals. A plan is
implemented and reviewed through marketing process. A well designed marketing process
achieves the marketing goals due to effective decision making, while a faulty process may lead to
wrong decisions which further lead to marketing failure.
The overall process of marketing has been divided into various steps by various marketing
philosophers. To understand the marketing in simple way, we have divided the marketing process
in following 6 steps.

1.
Strategy Formulation
2.
Marketing Planning
3.
Marketing Programming, Allocating And Budgeting
4.
Marketing Implementation
5.
Monitoring And Auditing
6.
Analysis And Research

Each step is interrelated with other steps, as marketing is a complex and continuous process.
The relationships are shown as below in the figure. There are only vague and unclear dividing
lines between any two parts of the process as precise boundaries are not as important as the
general concept.

Following is a brief Description about each of the above steps:

1.
Strategy Formulation: Marketing strategy formation involves the development of the broadest
marketing/business strategies with the longest-term impact. Through marketing strategy, the
organization is allowed to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to
increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. A marketing strategy should be
centered on the key concept that customer satisfaction is the main goal. Marketing strategy also
defines the principles on which competition is faced successfully. At the strategy formulation
stage, complex integration with other corporate functions is required. A marketing strategy has to
be in rhythm with other functional strategies and overall corporate strategy. In fact, marketing
strategy and overall corporate strategy are meld into a unified strategy. The overall target of
strategy formulation is to achieve a sold positioning of the product or service of the firm.
2.
Market Planning: Market Planning is the base of the marketing. It involves objectives and
plans with a 2-5 year time horizon and is thus further from day-to-day activity of implementation
with an objective to make the best possible utilization of all the human & physical resources of a
firm. A well-formulated marketing plan helps in establishing the effective coordination among
various activities / departments of a firm. Most marketing plans are broad in nature and have a
long term impact. Plans have to be developed by a combination of the specialists as well as the
line managers who are responsible for carrying out a plan.
3.
Programming, Allocating & Budgeting: Marketing Programming, Allocating and Budgeting
involves detail and focuses relatively on a shorter duration generally.
Programming is like creating functional implementation programme keeping in view one or
more elements of the marketing mix. Programming depends upon the nature of the firm, its
organizational structure.
Allocating means allocation of the resources of the firm on various elements of the marketing
programme such as advertising or distribution etc. Through allocation, the firm decides what to do
and what not to do and also how much and how long to do. Allocation is not based upon optimism
of the marketer but involves hard decisions within the limits of firm’s priority and market
environment.
Budgeting involves the quantitative forecasts and estimates of each marketing function. It
involves forecast cash flows and needs, sales forecasts etc.
4.
Market Implementation:
This is the most functional stage of marketing process. Strategy formulation, market planning
programming, allocating and budgeting lead to marketing implementation. Marketing
implementation is the execution phase. This phase produces the actual results. The best
strategies carved out by the best marketing specialists may get busted if the implementation is
poor.
Implementation depends upon the human resources of the organization very much. For
different personnel the meaning of implementation is different and set within his/ her work area.
For example, for a sales person , the implementation means to go through effectively all the sales
steps. While for a sales manager, the implementation is to organize the sales team/ force.
Marketing implementation is people oriented and focuses on prospects, customers, distributors,
retailers, and wholesalers. Marketing implementation needs support, coordination, and a well-
developed network for successful results.
5.
Monitoring & Auditing:
In general, audit is evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project
or product and monitoring is act of supervising. In marketing, the monitoring and auditing involve
to identify those existing (external and internal) factors, which will have a significant impact on the
performance of firm. Therefore, it involves the assessment of performance against quantitative
goals. The comprehensive audit also involves review of the processes as well qualitative and
non-quantifiable aspects of marketing operation. The audit has to be done on a certain occasions
while the monitoring refers to the day-to-day supervision and review activity.
6.
Analysis and Research:
Analysis and Research is the end and beginning of marketing process. The marketing
decisions need to be based upon the careful analysis and research. This may be quantitative
based upon mathematics, statistics, and other quantitative disciplines and qualitative based upon
psychology, behavioral science, moral science, anthropology and other disciplines.
All the above activities are interrelated to each and other. The marketing is the front end of a
corporate while bearing the lateral connections with all the other functional departments.
Marketing process is a complex & complicated set of various activities. The given graphic makes
you understand the basic schematic of the marketing process.

Every marketer has to understand some basic questions before making a marketing plan. The
first set of areas of analysis is 5C’s of the market viz. Customers, Company, Competitors,
Collaborators & Context.

1.
Customers: Customer is the king and ultimate goal of marketing process is to derive profit as
well as satisfy the customer needs. The marketer has to find out what are the needs and
demands of the customers and how the firm would seek to satisfy those demands. Customer is
central to marketing as well as business and existence of a firm.
2.
Company: Today’s markets are competitive and here goes the principle “survival of the
fittest”. The company has to have some competencies and abilities to survive and flourish. The
marketer has to judge, analyze and make marketing plans and strategies within the limits of the
competencies and capabilities of the firm.
3.
Competition: Market essentially has competition. Competition makes choices & options
available to customers as well as provides the best value for money to the end consumers. The
marketer has to find out who competitors are and how to meet that competition. There is always
competition in the market offerings and unless the competition taken into account, the marketer
may lead the firm in wrong direction.
4.
Collaborators: Someone who assists in a programme is a collaborator. The collaborator term
in marketing involves all the people whose help required meeting the marketing goals. The
personnel of the company as well as external collaboration such as advertising agencies, direct
sales agents etc. need to be discussed.
5.
Context: Context deals with the external and internal environment of the firms and markets.
The efficient marketer has to judge the political, legal, social, cultural and technological
environment of the market and decide upon the factors, which may affect the course of marketing
process.

The above specification leads to analyze the market prerequisites. It is followed by specification
of the target market.

A target market is a set of customers that the firm decides to aim its marketing efforts.

A well-defined target market is the first element to a marketing strategy. The selected market
needs to be segmented on the basis several of geographic, demographic/socio-economic,
psychographic, behavioral & product-related criteria and this is called market segmentation. Apart
from this, the firms need to create an image or identity in the minds of the target market for its
product/ service, brand or organization.
Next comes the Marketing Mix.

Neil Borden first used the term market mix in 1953. Neil Borden used this term in his American
Marketing Association presidential address.

Marketing Mix refers to Product, Price, Place and Promotion. Place here means the channel of
distribution. Most important is the pricing decision.
The 4P’s altogether creates value for the customer and creates value for the firm too. This leads
to Customer acquisition and customer retention for a long-term profit for the firm.